The USPTO has been working to combat misleading and fraudulent solicitations sent to federal trademark applicants/registrants and is calling on the public to report and identify these bad actors.
As most brand owners know, filing a federal trademark application often initiates an “open season” of sorts, wherein trademark “service providers” and outright scammers use the information from the publically available records to contact the applicant directly regarding some false deadline or “opportunity.” These missives often appear quite legitimate, and even the most savvy of trademark owners has had occasion to question their viability.
In an effort to aid trademark owners, the USPTO posts examples of fraudulent solicitations on this USPTO webpage, dedicated to providing updated information about reports and examples received from the public, including offers to renew registrations, list brand owners in particular databases, and/or record the particular goods with Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Most recently, the USPTO was made aware, anecdotally, about solicitations being sent to brand owners via text messages and private messages sent directly to brand owners via social media, such as LinkedIn. The USPTO is asking for trademark owners to help identify the source and nature of this new generation of scams by sending them to your trademark attorney and/or submitting copies of fraudulent solicitations directly to the USPTO at TrademarkAssistanceCenteruspto.gov.
This article appeared in the June 2020 issue of MarkIt to Market. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.